GHOSTBUSTERS star Leslie Jones has claimed a major publisher is helping to spread hate by printing a book by “alt-right” Breibart news commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.
Jones’s outburst comes as it was announced that a reprint of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf is set for a sixth print run in Germany.
Around 85,000 copies of the fascist’s manifesto have been sold already since the reprint was launched last year. The annotated version is the first reprint since the Second World War and its publisher, The Institute of Contemporary History of Munich (IfZ), says it has been a surprise best-seller.
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Only 4,000 copies were originally planned but the Institute claims it has stimulated debate on the recent rise of right wing views in the West.
Despite interest from around the world, the Institute says it will stick to a restrictive policy on international rights. So far only French and English versions are planned.
The annotated edition of the tract was produced by the Institute just after the manifesto copyright expired. The rights had belonged to Bavaria since 1946 when the Allies gave the region control of the principal Nazi publishing house.
However to prevent the incitement of hatred and in respect to the Nazi’s victims, Bavaria ruled against republishing the inflammatory tract.
UNDER German law, copyright holds for 70 years and when it expired, the Institute said it would release an annotated version rather than risk the publishing of one without a critical commentary.
“It turned out that the fear the publication would promote Hitler’s ideology or even make it socially acceptable and give neo-Nazis a new propaganda platform was totally unfounded,” said IfZ director Andreas Wirsching. “To the contrary, the debate about Hitler’s world view and his approach to propaganda offered a chance to look at the causes and consequences of totalitarian ideologies, at a time in which authoritarian political views and rightwing slogans are gaining ground.”
Originally 12.4m copies of Mein Kampf were published with the state giving all newlyweds a copy as a gift.
Written by Hitler in 1924 when he was jailed for treason in Bavaria following the unsuccessful Beer Hall Putsch, the tract details the ideology that became the foundation of Nazism.
It included the antisemitism that led to the deaths of around six million Jews in the Holocaust.
The new version has a white, unadorned cover but while there are no Nazi symbols emblazoned on it, the decision to reprint has upset Jewish groups.
WHAT’S SO STRANGE?
MEANWHILE Jones has joined the rising number of people protesting against publisher Simon & Schuster’s book deal with Yiannopoulos.
The latter was banned from Twitter several months ago for allegedly encouraging a stream of racist abuse against the actor.
Last week it was announced that Yiannopoulos had been given a £203,000 contract with a conservative imprint of the publisher called Threshold which has previously brought out books by Dick Cheney, Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh.
A self-styled “internet supervillain”, Yiannopoulos said he had been offered a “wheelbarrow full of money” to write a book called Dangerous about Donald Trump.
Despite not being due out until March, it has already registered so many pre-orders on Amazon that it is almost topping the bestseller lists.
However Jones is just one of the many who have spoken out against the contract with Yiannopoulos, who made headlines when he claimed transgender people were “mentally ill” and that feminism was “cancer”.
WHO’S SHE GONNA CALL?
JONES condemned the publisher as helping people like Yiannopoulos to “spread their hate” while comedian Sarah Silverman said giving him a platform was “gross”.
LA Times book editor Carolyn Kellogg agreed.
“If you approved a $250K book deal for the troll promoting racist, sexist views so extreme he got thrown off this platform – we need to talk,” she told the publishers.
The Chicago Review of Books went further, saying: “In response to this disgusting validation of hate, we will not cover a single @simonschuster book in 2017.”
Simon & Schuster author Danielle Henderson said: “I have calls in with my editor, agent and lawyer. This is too personal for me to ignore.”
Another of the publisher’s authors, Karen Hunter, tweeted she would be “rethinking my relationship” with Simon & Schuster.
The publisher however has told critics to “withhold judgment until they have had a chance to read the actual contents of the book”.
It added that it does not condone hate speech or discrimination in any form and that it has “always published books by a wide range of authors with greatly varying, and frequently controversial opinions”.
“While we are cognisant that many may disagree vehemently with the books we publish we note that the opinions expressed therein belong to our authors, and do not reflect either a corporate viewpoint or the views of our employees,” said a spokesperson.